Thursday, June 25, 2009

442. "Mindful of the Mountain" Song/Poem [Fragment?] of My Grandfather Ray HUB BLOG FOR RAY-MARION

Mindful of the Mountain Song/Poem. The PDF can be found here:

I've written a few poems that have immense personal meaning in concern of my grandfather. It mainly started with "Two Generations Removed from the Land," which I frantically wrote in the middle of September, essentially during a panic attack session in the car, when I found out the Ray had a horrible "transfer" session from a Physical Therapy Center to the nursing center where Marion used to be--then he exclaimed over the phone to me "These centers just want to milk your money! They don't care about you!" and then my panic attack ended because though Ray had a bad day--slump--he was rebounding rapidly. Two other heavy poems I wrote were after Ray's passing, in which one was "Stepped off the Planet," and the other one was "Mindful of the Mountain," in which I have a ditty above, but I made a much lengthier song back in October of 2009, and I haven't had a chance to revisit the audio.
"Two Generations Removed from the Land" can be found in Blog 296
"Stepped off the Planet" can be found in Blog 387.
And of course, "Mindful of the Mountain" can be found right on this Blog 442!
Descriptions of a turbulent time during the passing of Ray are found in Blogs 349 and 350, as well as the Question Reality GoogleGroup.
It seems that each poem that I wrote for Ray had become more and more simple... and somewhat more emotionally profound in messaging (at least to me, personally). I am sure I have other unfinished fragments and ideas of poems and stories layng around. The poems showed that I was greatly attached to my grandfathr, in the best ways that I knew now.
During 2004-2007, I had written a few poems about my grandmother Marion, but they were along the lines of "Artificial Life," (I tried writing this poem twice, but rendered unsuccessful, something that needs to be done) or my level of disgust on how modern medicine was extending life to a point of visceral absurdity. If you rewind the clock two hundred years to a few thousand, my grandmother would have been first in the line of saber tooth catnip, flat out. She could barely function on her own. I told Jules last night that I cried at age 15 when I discovered Marion had Alzheimer's and I wrote a long report in my English class about Alzheimer's Disease (which seemed to make sense), but after that, I was emotionally flat and even cynical, as the whole family, especially Ray, went for a very long ride of ten-year decay. Other than that, my father told me that Marion was very instinctively caring and nurturing--housewife type--and Ray was more of a dominant fatherfigure of the household, but those were the times, and my father treated me and my sister as two kids who deserved the best of the best, whether we were a female, male, or or "it," whether we had four, six, or the magic number of 5 fingers.
I also happened to write a little bit about Marion when I sketched out a short story called "The Immensely Minor Passing of Cat-Kat," which is found in Blog 334.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

441. "Round and Round" Ditty / Song / "Wannabe Poem" Related to Blog #427

Round and Round Poem written in a magical week of music production in February of 2009. PDF File can be viewed here:
Associated poems can be found in Blog #427.

It's funny how ideas work. Perhaps a couple of years ago I noted the origins of the notion of spinning my wheels or feeling like a repetitious broken record. This theme had been manifested in several of my poems, but then there is a magical person and or place--which happened to be in February of 2009 who places this frequently revisited theme into a nontraditional context and the most optimal of stories--optimal meaning "short, to the point, but very artful." Aka conforming to the "Barry Spacks Theory of Poetry." Barry told me that Pascale said that "It takes a long time to write a short letter," and it seems that always at first that all of my ideas emerge in an uncontained flurry of thoughts, but over time they become widdled down to utmost simplicity. I belch out this simplicity, and then I'm calm, and I move forward.

During that "magical" week in February, amidst all the conflicting demands for school, my mind spontaneously made at least 5 songs, belched out, right there. Now, I am revisiting that time of insane creativity.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

440. Song/Poem Called "The Blanket and the Stitch" to be a Short Story / Inspired by Conversations on Local Fisheries Management

The Blanket and the Stitch a.k.a. "Failure of the Numerical Windex Theory"

The numbers were screaming a blanket
but I did not know the people of a stitch.
The blanket is a schlop of patches
but I did not know what th' patches consist.

I'm crying wolf, "Th'World's Turning Inside-n-Out,
The birds gone by twenty-sixty-eight!

And based on the works of summed noble numbers,
shouldn't we pursue a noble change?"

The stitches shook their heads and rolled their low eyes
saying that, "We all don't appreciate--

"Your hypermedia globalist doomsday
leaving the world in great fear and your baptized fame,

when it comes to local qualms, your view's just a haze,
playing chess with the terrain's a most complex game.

"Yet we admire your glossed, visionary eyes,
but globalists sweep o'er local sacrifice.
You've found a numbered gloom we fear and despise,
but in microcosmos, how-do-we materialize?


evidence' slim we're going inside and out ,
and the numbers of birds are in an upward bound!
A-change of habit and tune, don't you consider--
talking to your neighbor, and not your computer?

"And how you dare tell us all what we should do?
When we stitches-got years o'sky's ocean on you,
don't you even have a slim, slightest of clues--

how can you fix
when our patch
just simply ain't broken?

how can you reform
when our patch
just simply ain't broken?"


my numbers speak of a doomed blanket,
but do they speak of the people of a stitch?
My blanket tried to coat those patches
but (-th')locals shook their fists, and tried to resist--

"Think twice about your numbered panacea
before you dare consider cryin'out Wolf!
You may be global's Pixeled Godsend-- (amorphous God)
but you may end out being the top local spoof!

"So keep your
dooming and glooming
and crunching and stewing
to yourself!"

Can I replicate terrains of these layers
when-each patch is assembled unique?
So will I keep screaming those numbers
or will the knowhow of the stitches, I seek?

Other key words not used: maze, game, ambitions strayed, puzzles click, subsist, divorce, realize, globalism sacrifice resolution of the locals (and visa versa), NUMBER CRUNCHING COMPUTER PANACEA (cure all, The Windex Theory), cornucopia, man who loved to organize numbers, rarely looked outside his window and talked to the local community, stayed to himself and his colleagues, saw a desirable pattern similar to his colleagues, became famous because he instilled fear and worry in people but no one could do anything about it, a person called in the radio "But what do we do?" and he responded to stay educated-informed-go-to-this-website-join-and-change-a-lightbulb-if-you-have-time, he became a hero of the whole world because he discovered and instilled fear and worry without much of a solution (solution, starting with perception and frame of reference), visionary and of good intentions, the man thought in numbers and the locals thought in pictures and neither of them could speak common language too well, the man's potential name is Pilobius, tension in the room man's blanket scream versus local knowledge, must be "precautionary," do you speak to your backyard coat? "your numbers speak like an amorphous god," fear and worry versus "acting upon it," the blanket is an intricacy of stitches of patches

443. Poem "Personal Impacts of the Governator's Experiment"

Personal Impacts
of the Governator's Experiment

My dough runs out
come September.

I hve nightmares
if I don't work
like a dog.

My father's strapped
to the U
for the summer.
No time or money to
research the Sierra San Pedro Martir,
to help his grad student.

And my mom's
delerious over the phone
at work.
GovPub's dissolving.
It's been a twenty-year
affair of love-hate
labor for her.
The library Head made
faulty decisions for new work,
and everyone's rustled.
No one's speaking,
just underlying tension.
My mother chose not to speak.
I barked at her,
"The Head cannot read your mind."
She said the Head was delerious,
it wasn't worth speaking.
I barked more,
"That's arrogant to assume!"
The solution's to
just go where they put her,
get bullied around,
don't complain.
I grew angry,
"The Head is NOT God!
And thanks so much for all the
things you tell me,
have told me what to do!
For all the advice!
All the childhood wisdoms!
For all the mandates!
You don't even communicate
with your own colleagues,
You don't even practice
what you preach!
The Head has no clue,
so GIVE HER a clue!
Don't expect anyone else
to do it!
If I had let the system
bully me around,
I would have still been
a miserable, fat pig at UKLA
studying stupid
parasitic plants!"

Then my mom
quietly told me,
"Well, your life is a fantasy.
And mine is real."
I was so flustered,
I ended the call.
"Okay, whatever.
I gotta go."

Then my father called,
and I moaned,
"My mother gets bullied at work,
she comes home at watches God TV,
prays to God,
gets all existentialist-like,
tells me what to do with my life,
says her life is real
and mine is a dream--
and she doesn't even
practice what she
believes, assumes.
Who is she to live this way?"

My father was upset,
"That was a copout remark."
I envisioned him
shaking his head,
"Just ignore it."

It's hard to ignore.

Jules called.
He just caught five sheephead.

I exclaimed the 101st time,
"At least the Ocean
is Recession Proof!"

"We'll see,"
Jules skeptically smiled.

The Governator's
making us all

Written June 25, 2009

439. Adventure Poem "Sparky and the Bean" with the Theme of Loss and Regain of Pettiness

Sparky and the Bean

Dirty ol'
walmart dog,
you could only tell
by his dark blue
signature bowtie
made in China
I'm sure--
this cute stubby dalmation
cream of
a demented, deformed
crop of fuzz
perched on a table
as "display dog"
at the megastore front
where strange people
like myself
fill out credit card forms
and in return
receive a free toy--
Oh! I didn't know
free things could grow
so rooted, burled
in my miniature realm
of embellishment!


you were with me,
five long, long years--
rough estimate!--
and it was all about
Sparky and Bugsy
(the yardsale ladybug)--
we had the best
and worst
of times--
you both were
my car adventure buddies,
my bedtime hugs,
and you were ALWAYS
there for me
when all the other
fickle people
my stuffed polyester
who did not pee
nor poop
and you came alive
whenever my dreams
willed you to--
much better indeed
than those "real"
pestly pets!--

I do not know
how you came
to be lost
in the anonymous sheets
of a rushed-out Motel 6
never to be sighted
School drowned my brain
piled higher and deeper--
I never had a chance
to mourn
till now,
half-year later.

And alas!
In Turbulence of Uncertainty,
Sparky was the last
micro-sentiment I could
afford to lose
to collapse of bonds--

until I fell recipient
to the curse of Neighbor Natalie--
"Why Victoria,
you are such a pretty girl
why do you always hide
in your beanie?"
Questioning my
oversized brown beanie?
--The Bean?!!--
99 cents
from the 99 cents store,
with me,
for five years--roughly--
of rapid change,
innerouter evolution?--
I used to wrap Sparky
in my Bean--
it's now worth
5 dollars
or 50.

My beanie's the crutch!
For everyone
draws attention to themselves
while I like to hide behind
my hermit crab

helmet beanie,
my little shell,
so I can blend in the backdrop,
observe through jittery eyes,
and see the World
without the World seeing me
I did not wear shades--
like everyone else--
I Wore Beanie.

Yet, I do not
believe in magic,
voodoo mysticism,
but at the end
of an ordinary jog,
the hour
prof advisor meeting--
the day
after the curse
of Neighbor Natalie--
the Bean elevated
to Disappearance
in the folds
of my abyssal car?
floating, skooting along
in the seabreeze
in the Somewhere of
Ghosttown Isla Vista?

My afternoonish evening
as I frantically retraced,
backtracked my distraught moves,
rendering empty-handed
in data hunt,
nevertheless concerned--
if anyone took this Bean
and used it for themselves,
I would be sincerely
even worried
for this new owner--
then again
all seems recycled
in this town--
so I carelessly romped
through five different stores--
there are no beanies
hanging in June--
Anxiety grabbed a gnarly
San Francisco fisher hat
from Alpha Thrift--
wasted 3 bucks,
for it fit well
but appeared horrid--
what brash decisions,
"You don't want to
settle for second best,"
advised Jules.
"I've known you
long enough to know
your beanie's your
body part."
I lay listless
limp in the car
calmed, slowed
by his gentle counsel.

"Sparky and the Bean
are on their new lives now.
You had a grand time.
But it's a new chapter
in your life,"
chimed in wise Jules.

"Face it, Victoria.
You molted.
It's time to find
or grow a new shell

"It was the
Sparky and the Bean years,
and now it's the new you."

I wailed,
"Oh Jules!
But I dont feel new.
I feel stagnant.
I have accomplished
the last four days.
How could I have

"You'll see,"
Jules' telepathic smile
from the cell phone.
"I can't wait to see ya

The end-click
left me innerly
tender, uncooked,
dainty fragile,
most certainly
to discover
my gestalt
is the summation
of magnified micro-sentiments,
affairs of self-construed
animate inanimates
still managing
to slip through my
stringent (?) (ha!)

Am I a byproduct
of immense
outwardly pettiness?

Aren't we all?!

Oh, oh!
Harsh brute Martin
reemed me "Get Over It"
mercilessly tattooed
on my forehead
as Jules coaxed,
"I'll understand
if it lingers
for a while."

Oh, please to meet
the newly-carved
Territory of
Replacement Anxiety.
Welcome Tooty,
the brand new
yellow beanie baby
yard sale elephant
who speaks True
through her
gestures, tones,
amplitudes, pace of voice
with mere persistent
utterance of
one mere phrase--
She jives well
with Bugsy,

bestest of friends,
and she is a
superb guardian
of my one-leveled
Goletan floorbed.

Jules explained,
"When the family dog dies,
many people buy a puppy.
You mourn through loss,
but one day you will wake up
and you realize you have
yourself a new dog!"

I'm already fixed
with care,
half-years have
passed well.

And now?
At last resort,
I succumbed,
fell victim to
my second tier beanie,
smaller camo green
hidden in my
car trunk crevice
from that same Upland
99 cent store
of 5 or so years ago.
Karl my housemate declared--
"Same style.
No difference.
It works."

Pragmatism over
shall do for now.
of trauma
still flutter
with my

Maybe one day
I will feel new.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Letter from Kristin Esteves, Indie Roadtrip Nation Coordinator, detailing Shannon and my acceptance letter for an Indie Roadtrip. The PDF can be found here.

So, the deal here is, BEFORE I sulk, I should CELEBRATE! I just "heard the word" from Kristin that Shannon and I were accepted for an Indie Roadtrip Grant exploring the Next Generation of Gonzo Scientists--emerging professions and programs in science, art, and environment/ conservation. I will have to talk to John Bohannon to see if we have approval to spread the word of Gonzo Science. I am seeing, after my conversation with John Richards, is that there needs to be a DISCUSSION ON THE INTERSECTIONS AND BOUNDARIES OF SCIENCE AND POLICY/ADVOCACY/ACTIVISM (Lacky paper). Science as a culture. Generating a culture of science. And if there are any boundaries at all? So, I'm kind of seeing a blur. Honestly, that will have to be the embarking discussion of this whole film. A scientist discussing the blurry boundaries between science, science communication, science advocacy, and policy shifts. Emotional versus rational decision-making. I see that I will have to establish a mirror effect with filming.

Just met with Dr. Dick Hebdige at UC Riverside, and he told me these interdisciplinary science-humanities programs seem to be blossoming everywhere--UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside Palm Desert, Arizona State University--it's just that there not "large" right now, and they are nevertheless NOT united--and perhaps a bit without direction.

Anyhow, I'M SUPER DUPER EXCITED! This news has really cheered me up. Now, I must go back to blog 437 and sulk. Yipee! Waah-waah!

Monday, June 15, 2009

436. An Additional Disclaimer Will Eventually Need to be Added to "The Curious Case of Lobster Trap Escape Ports"

Disclaimer Slide #1.
Social Networking Disclaimer Slide #2.

After several discussions with quite a few academics and media professionals, I was encouraged to further elaborate the film in terms of the California Department of Fish and Games' response and potentially fishermen discourse with the DFG. These two slides ultimately "bound the system" of the film and will prevent any runaway Lonelygirl15 soap opera happening with a "Bump in the Wire."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

435. "The Curious Case of Lobster Trap Escape Ports" First Film Vic Made on Her Own in Two Years!!!

Well, well, well... some people have become... desperate, including myself.... My head is currently spinning right now... still... but what can I do but recap a chronological timeline of this past week? I haven't written a blog in a while, but I have been deep in my head... writing... and doing art.... So, what exactly happened is that two years ago, I barely made the cut of creating the introduction of a "World's Easiest Catch: Zen of Rock Crab" Film, which ultimately has a lot of baggage I have been carrying around. First of all, it's a controversial film, because I the film-maker am in it. Some people like it's existentialist eco-poetic properties but other people were pissed off that I was self-indulgent rather than focusing on the fishermen. Despite all the problems--like the acquisition of absolutely horrible audio, and the unfinished condition of the film, World's Easiest Catch was the notable student film at the Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival in October of 2007. I had a fallout with one of my profs in concern of a grade of the film, and it turned out that the misunderstanding was not between me and the prof, but between me, the prof, and a backstabbing third-party student who miscommunicated my message to the prof. It was a very strange time that I had been suppressing in my psyche for a VERY long time, but somehow this so called notion of "love" can repair nearly all wounds and wipe history to a blank slate--October 17, 2005, to be exact. This film made it to be October 17, 2005 or 18th? Wait. There's Question Reality (Sept 15-October 15), Poetry Collection (October 16), Catch Share (October 17), and now The Curious Case (October 18). Great! Today, is October 18, 2005. My inner universe is slowly manifesting outwardly. Another suppressed aspect of World's Easiest Catch is that I felt I disappointed the entire fishing community of Santa Barbara. I have been hiding and feeling like a jerk for two years. I feel thankful that I was even hired as note-taker for the fisheries/FIN/MLPA process! Apparently, not all fishermen in Santa Barbara hated me. Or maybe in the end, I hated myself. After this current experience I am about to describe, I came to realize that (1) I collected BAD AUDIO all summer and (2) I overshot my capacities of what I can do as an INDIVIDUAL INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER. I cannot edit over 25 hours of tape, unless if I want to make myself go crazy. Another issue, is that I had to divorce my own existentialististic overly philosophical foo foo mind from the practical world outside. I was imposing too much of myself upon the realities of other people in World's Easiest Catch. Now, I am deeply in my head, I can divorce my esoteric self from the world outside through my dualist life of writing/art and film-making for other people. The list goes on... but it's okay, this is a blog! I am allowed to ramble, right?

Anyhoo, I was at some kind of ultimate philosophical low last Sunday (June 7, 2009), I had just spent about 3 weeks sitting in front of a computer, writing some very heavy stuff... from "A Graduation from Religion" to "Catch Share" to currently working on "The Mountain's Last Flower." I spoke with Barry Spacks in the morning before the graduation and he did a major surgery on how I should approach my scientist character. I just came out of the CCS graduation with a wonderful quote, "Join your community, but make sure the price of admission is your individualism." I called Bub, and I was just aching all over my body. I was anticipating of swimmng that day to loosen myself up. I needed to change my lifestyle, because the life of exclusive writing and art can be very agonizing physically for an active person who wants to be outdoors as well. So, I was feeling depressed, talking to my dad in the car, and then suddenly, out of the blue Sam Shrout calls me. Sam is one of my main characters of the rock crab film. He's one of the most respected fishermen in Santa Barbara; not only he works hard, but he is very intelligent, and knows how to use his resources, including me :-). He's like, *hey Victoria how's it going, how's life? and I stuttered oh things are fine, I think my advisors are starting to trust my pathway to life and ya, things are slow... stutter stutter rock crab film on back burner... * and then Sam patiently interjects, *hey Victoria what are you doing RIGHT NOW?* *Huh? like nothing. why?* and then Sam just belches out to me in incoherence something about some law with lobster traps and escape ports and short lobsters and I had no flippin' clue what he said except for the part where he said "And I can be the director and you can be the camera girl and editor." And I said AUTOMATICALLY and in complete spirit of SPONTANEITY "Okay, COOL! I'll do it!" Sam caught me at the best of times. I know it was an automatic response, but Sam and Cherie were expecting some rock crab film footage, and besides they bought me sushi 2 or 3 times two summers ago, so I kind of owe them... quite a bit. In fact, when Sam said, "Hey Victoria, I owe you something." And I said, "Redemption." He asked, "For what?" And I said, "For not finishing the rock crab film." He laughed. For completing this film, I needed redemption. I needed to earn RESPECT from a fisherman, from a fishing community. And I needed to earn TRUST. REDEMPTION. RESPECT. And TRUST. Those three things I was after, and you can't place a dollar value on that. Money comes later. And a boat ride to the islands. I'll push for a boat ride, for sure! I also felt like an Environmental Media Initiative Exile, because I wasn't producing anything I was proud of. I had also been frustrated because EMI seemed to have become a "talking affair," and as one fisherman stated, "Those who talk the most, produce the least." I was actually getting depressed being surrounded by a bunch of talkers, and over time, I surrounded myself with the more elusive community of creators, producers. Very few friends I have now, you see. So I was tired of being an exile, and I wanted to show people something I was proud of. Thanks to Barry Spacks, he made me swear an oath, "No explanations. No excuses." It pertained to our up and coming slacker generation of pampered frosh undergrads, but I learned how to apply this to my life. Stop thinking. Stop talking. Just do it. By the time Sam Shrout called me, I was in a super-duper-just-do-it-mode. Sam told me to call in an hour because he had to do some research before he made this film.

I had to break the ice with several issues. My Sony semi-professional camera had been collecting dust and I had to reacquaint myself with my dormant body parts in the garage, let alone brain neurology that couples with the organs. Another thing is that I had to break the ice with all the film equipment that I purchased the year before so I could technologically and mentally divorce myself from the environmental media equipment at UCSB. If I had my own equipment, I could own my brain to myself and I would have to deal with a LOT LESS PEOPLE than what I had to deal with back in summer of 2007. My credits are very simplified now: Me as the the camera and editor girl, and the actors in the front. Thank your family and who ever inspired you for the film. The Rock Crab film credits were WAY TOO LONG because simply it was a training wheel film. Now? I'm off on my own. Whew. Dropping lots of people baggage.

I know this is a bit of a "side track" issue, but I went to the Blue Horizons screening for summer of 2008 and was pissed off to find out that two groups essentially copycated my film style and technique for going into the grocery store and placing your camera in a shopping cart. Those dweebs! Don't copy me! Get your own flipping style! Sheep! Mimicry! I hate sheep! If you're over 20 years old, you have to stop being a SHEEP! Well, I really liked the snowy plover spoof. Some character who was kind of like Grizzly Man, who wore hot pink shorts and defended the snowy plovers. I loved it, and it had this envirochondriac streak to it. It was actually my favorite film, but it turned out that this "Sea Urchin Diver" film was the hit of the year--they had underwater camera housing, UNFAIR! I didn't have that! I think was the prof's favorite group. I thought the film was VERY slow and had not much content to it. The urchin fisherman would say something, and then there would be this long pause and this audio soundtrack music that I detested. The film reminded me of the PBS Nova Special (which can be a good thing) but was ultimately 5 minutes of information in 50 minutes of film. But imagine, this film was maybe 8 minutes. So, let's just say it was 40 seconds of information spread out to 8 minutes of film. I'm not even sure the ratio's right. I HATE that type of film, but that's my personal opinion. I am anti-industry standard. So for me, as a political science professor stated, my film style is Michel Gondry ecopoetic metaphorical abstract foo foo that somehow relates to everyone's construction of reality. I am 7 minutes of film with 7 minutes of content, which has so many layers--like the whole onion-peeling deal--that you have to watch the film several times to dissect and tune into all the layers. As another person said, my blog is like eating a "dense piece of European bread." I intend for the same of my films. My own standards are very anti-norm, and because of that I'm pretty much in my own alternative universe and desire to operate as an independent... for now... and slowly accrue my few allies.

So, that was a lot of baggage and backstory. Over the last two years, I have acquired a deep, gestalt affair with fishermen in general, primarily through the MLPA process. Their FIN proposal, external proposal A, received the MOST VOTES from all the RSG stakeholders for the southcoast process. And to say that I was a part of that process, of watching and recording all the fishermen put their heads together and construct a very highly desirable proposal, it just tickles my funnybone! I have met some of the most independent, real-world, intelligent, people-savvy, humorous individuals in my life! I am absolutely humblified. And to make matters even more ironic, fishermen have been receiving bad rap in the university and in the public due to issues of overfishing, but I have found ironies myself in terms of how scientists and fishermen operate. One major issue is that fulltime fishermen probably spend 20/30 days out on the ocean every single month, and scientists may spend 2 or 3 (or maybe 30/30 if they are on some intensive month of research). Fishermen have been establishing real-world models of the ocean in their heads through chronic observation and interaction, while scientists are oftentimes cushioned in their offices with wads of data and funky computer models. Fishermen remind me of the early scientists of fishers/ranchers who were by default amazing observers of natural history of landscapes. Fishermen married their minds to the ocean and the fish, and the scientists have married their minds to the scientific literature, which has become so diffuse and unpeer-reviewed that I am skeptical of scientific literature, as skeptical as if I were reading a sleeze article from US or People Magazine. And somehow you would think the stories would be the same, but there are vast dichotomies of thought processes for those who choose to marry these two different worlds. Anyhoo, that's just one line of thought. Another epiphany I made is that fishermen are about the only people who have earned "honest muscles." Their hands are rough, thickly skinned, and their whole form is often dark and blotched. The ocean and the weather has decorated them with beautiful, elaborate scars. So, as you can tell, I am in adoration and stupored fascination with a gestalt community of people. [It's amazing how film-making has so much backstory!]

So, by the time Sam Shrout called me and asked me for some help, all interior and external trains of thought of the physical universe led to an automatic "YES" and I dropped everything I was doing to resurrect the great dormancy in my multi-media head, and just simply... redeem myself. I raced over to Sam's house around 3:30pm (mind you, the days are long now), and we started almost right away after greetings with Cherie and Kevin. Based on the filming style, you could tell that Sam and I are very comfortable with each other. One of the main hurdles I had to jump over in the summer of 2007 is gain trust with fishermen and the fishing community. That hurdle between Sam and I had long been jumped over and by the time we convened, it was this relatively smooth dance between the director and the camera girl. The main message? All lobster fishermen received a letter from the California Department of Fish and Game in concern of strict enforcement of the size of lobster trap escape ports, even though there had been "slack enforcement" for the past 30-something years. Sam Shrout wanted to make a film to united the concerns of lobster fishermen in California, as well as communicate this message in a "problem" --> "solution" method through a youtube film. Sam provided an orientation of his trap-making shop (which was my second orientation, first one through the rock crab film), and then we hit the road to Goleta (it was SO DEAD, no one was around), and instead we headed toward Isla Vista (most people were busy studying for finals and getting ready to graduate), but we managed to get a diverse set of responses from several people. We interviewed three older adult males, and a bunch of young students in their twenties, potentially a couple of graduate students, and I think the missing age gap was older women and family-starting-aged people (thirties and forties). We almost received an interview from an older woman but she was some kind of zen buddhist who was very sick and didn't believe in killing any form of animals, but it was weird because she had a chubby tummy and so I was wondering what the hxck she was eating to give her such a plump tummy. I just certainly hope it wasn't cancer, because she said she was sick. Sam obviously is very intelligent, but he does have his witty sarcastic streak (as all fishermen do), and it seemed like a lot of the older people interviewed about the lobster trap escape ports were just overall cynical and bitter about the United States and California Government in general, cussing out the Governator and the like. It was hilarious to film but it was just not pertinent to the very specific issue of lobster trap escape ports.

I think we finished filming around 7pm, and Sam was very eager to get the information out on Youtube. I didn't have my Mac laptop with me, so I had no way of placing the one-hour-ten-minutes-footage on a computer. I had to patiently wait till the next day (in the mean time, I recorded some drum beats and compiled some lobster imagery footage), in which I went to the Digital Editing Lab (I'm glad I went because Annie and all the lab techs were accessible to answer many of my questions. They have changed some policies. You have to register for a class in order to use the lab. Annie was very helpful, and then another character who was a Greenscreener was very impatient with me and wasted about two hours of my life with trying to create a DVD through DVD Studio Pro, which is not what I wanted in the first place). While I was going back and forth from my car to the Digital Editing Lab, I ended up running into Julie Robinson and Miriam Polne-Fuller and I had some wonderful conversations with them. We needed some catching up to do. Julie has been so helpful and supportive of my pursuits. It means a lot to me. Miriam and I discussed poetry and how her poetry ideas were ripped off by some renowned poet who's had work published in Orion. The code of conduct for "respect of ideas" is very different in the science world versus poetry world. That's why I place COPYRIGHT VICTORIA on everything. So, my level of paranoia can actually help me, eh? Anyhow, these conversations ultimately slowed me down, but by the time it was 3:30 pm, I had all my files downloaded on my music-centric external hard drive, and drove over to Sam's house as fast as I could. I provided all the raw footage to Sam's son Kevin, who worked with the footage on imovie for the evening and placed a raw main message on Youtube by 9pm, which is ultimately VERY FAST WORK (but a good job nevertheless for getting the message out). I was VERY sad because I rushed home (Riverside) to get my mac computer and I really wanted to edit the footage just to refresh my skills and do a stellar, professional editing job... Sam didn't know I was doing this editing gig, so I hid over at Jules' house and edited for about two days total (Jules was very excited and supportive), which was sparsed between a nice spaghetti dinner and a boat trip in which Jules caught a giant, green-colored Ling cod (man, I was totally hyped up by the "catch of the day" but no one else seemed impressed), and finally on Wednesday (Thursday?) I finally finished the 8.35 minute film and ultimately messed around with formatting--how to widdle down the film to 100 MB and 10 minutes. I ultimately wasted about one day with formatting experiments, only to find out that Youtube extended the file size to 1 GB, not 100 MB, and then I had to wait for three and-a-half-hours on Friday to have the dxmn file uploaded to Youtube (Jules' internet server is quasi-slow, I should have uploaded through the school server, oh well), I ultimatley missed the party bash for Brennies who graduated and received their masters. It was a penguin suit event, but ahhh... oh well. I saw the CCS graduation--Bruce remarks of viewing cancer as a "positive" thing, talk about a shift in perception!)--and that was more than enough for me. Finally around 2pm, I had the film uploaded. By that point in time I called Sam Shrout like 5 times, left two message, and finally got a hold of him around 6 or 7pm. He had been on a boat, out fishing (ocean ranching) for the last three days, and his first response to my announcement of the "second product" was "I wished you hadn't done that," because this kind of minor political film can easily put people in a bad light. It has to be well-edited... and I understood. Sam saw the film that night... so did Cherie and Kevin... and they all loved it. He didn't call me that evening because he was beat from three days of fishin, but the next day he called me and said he loved the film. It was very well done, and entertaining (in addition to being message-driven), and that my portrayal of him was very flattering (come on! Sam Shrout is COOL BY DEFAULT! Flattery is natural). Sam said he was going to send this film out to the other lobster fishermen for their commentary and now we have two films--a cursory, message-driven serious film, and a professional film that adds a dose of art, entertainment, and humor to a political discourse through media. Sam gave me the privilege to do what I wanted with the existing film (like submit it to a film festival :-), and that I was free to use the film as a portfolio item. He was going to spread the good word to his fisheries community and if they needed a film done, I'm up for grabs this summer, and up for cheap (for now, ha ha). He also informed me that this whole media gig has roused up the DFG and now they're going to have some kind of emergency meeting about the lobster trap escape ports this upcoming week. Everyone in the fishing community is SOOO EXCITED because this film gig is a "new way" for the fishing community to express their concerns and facilitiate discourse between sometimes very disparate sectors of fishermen, scientists, and government. Like I said, fishermen are smart. And they are getting even smarter... and more resourceful. And in this case, I was so glad I could help! (At one point Sam Shrout said, it's so hard to express my concern in writing, film seems better. Government documents are a drab. And now? Film can create an uproar within a few days. So powerful!)

The phone transaction was Saturday around 1pm (post Lion's Den with Shelly Lowenkopf in Montecito, with raving reviews for the Catch Share story, too much good news at once!) and all my anxiety that had built up from 3pm Friday to 1pm Saturday was suddenly released with the great phone call, and then I could move on with my life. Now, I can email all my academic buddies and acquaintances about this completely whirlwind out-of-the-blue adventure I had, which really ousted my very sad brain from depression of a life of exclusive writing. I love to write. I need to write, but I can't be exclusive with writing. I need to combine writing and art with community-building-film-making. I need to combine the predictability of my brain with the unpredictability of media-recorded adventure. I know I can balance both juggling acts. I need both to keep myself happy, and moving forward....

And now? Everytime I find myself in a rut... just pick up the film camera and have a random, purposeful adventure. I just have to promise myself to finish what I started. And to keep not talking, and just do it. Thanks for the Oath, Barry!

Conclusion: (1) Totally NEW habits for filming (a) one day of filming, acquiring all data (b) TWO FULL DAYS of EDITING (these are 20 hour-workdays, ya, seriously) (2) give up being in front of the camera unless you're being totally existentialist, work with people who you feel that making films of them, you are ultimately making films of yourself (3) try to create films that fulfill a need, e.g. facilitate communication between different environmentalist groups, potentially commercial-promotional.... combine politics with humor, always portray people in a good light, problem-solution based filming (4) I can operate as a film-independent--I need a support group, but NOT a large production group! (5) New editing style. Very fast, choppy MTV style hand-held camera editing. If the person in front of the camera pauses and says and, umm, if, err, but *fart* sooo... they get edited out, and it creates sometimes jarring edits, but it keeps the flow of thought to fast pace, it may seem like an "editing mistake" but I want to develop it as an editing style....


media friends: Oscar, Shannon, Barry, Sarah, Mary Connors, Jorge (ECP, precisiologist), Kristin, Blue Ocean Productions (Ventura), Julie (Catch Share), Milton (offensive?), Yasmin, Kyle-Karl, Hugh Marsh, Maria de O

family: Bub, Mumsy, JenJen, Uncle Dwight, Jules

academics: Miriam (poetry gig), Armand, Bruce, Oran, Gale, Ron, Mike, Carrie, JohnR, Erinn (and friend), Michael (ocean channel), Margaret C, Mike

Film Ideas: Envirochondriac / The Eleventh Commandment (Origins) / 6 Billion Ways to View a Moderate Cube of Space / Mindfield / MLPA (Who's Gonna Know Anything Anymore?) / Whatever's Left of the Wildwest / Ed Keller Isla Calafia / The Tao of Spiny Lobster / Bernard the Aquaculturalist / Brian at the Seafood Market / Santa Barbara Writers Conference / Rick Gutierrez "to catch a crab, you have to think like a crab" /

Improve Gear: get a 25-foot cord for a microphone-based dialogue / FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE A DOLLY WITH PVC PIPE AND A SKATEBOARD / contact Ari for music improvement

Ask Oscar Questions: (1) How to frame the video such that it is formatted for television (2) how to do Opacity-see through effects (3) formatting the best for Youtube (mpeg SUCKS!)

Opacity Button --> (1) Grab a Clip and go to "Motion" there is an Opacity button there (2) on the lower left of the sequence Toggle Clip Overlays (looks like a jaggy mountain), you can adjust the black line, as the opacity overlay)

The Green Boxes --> (1) the inner box represents Title Safe area (2) the outer box represents Picture Elements safe area (3) you can reach these boxes by clicking on "Title Safe" in the image-wireframe area

Goals: Make Three Short Films this summer (including hopefully Roadtrip Nation), Submit to Four Film Festivals (SB Ocean Film Festival, SB International Film Festival, SF Ocean Film Festival, Sundance! What a dream) / ComiCon Festival San Diego June

Overall Goal: Show the world that I have my own brain, so by the time I enter the job market, they can't treat me like a grunt.